USC MEDICAL FACULTY WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION

NEWSLETTER

 

NO. 98                                                                                                        December 1999                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 


LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

It was with some trepidation that I assumed the role of President of the MFWA this year.  Where would I find the time to do it all, in addition to my research and clinical commitments, in this, my tenure decision year?  But more importantly, was I even qualified to undertake this position and how was I going to know what to do?  There were several compelling reasons that ultimately influenced my decision.  From a purely personal perspective, the MFWA has had a direct and very practical influence on my academic development at USC - providing seminars on dossier preparation, information on salary and funding opportunities and the opportunity to network with a group of talented colleagues who have served as mentors and a resource for scientific information and collaboration.  Less tangible has been the role of the MFWA in creating an environment that fosters the professional development of women in general.  This includes creating an awareness of some of the very real issues (despite our best efforts at denial) that face women in academia - that women of equal skill and talent do not always fare as well as their male colleagues with regard to promotion, remuneration and advancement to positions of leadership.  The reasons are subtle and often complex but include our own reluctance to self-promote, perhaps our lack of conviction regarding our own skills and ability, and our belief that if we work hard the system will reward us appropriately without having to negotiate.  This last issue is particularly relevant in the context of recent evaluations at other institutions around the country suggesting that gender equity issues continue to contribute to the failure of some outstanding women scientists to advance as rapidly as their male counterparts.

 

 

If it was support I was concerned about I needn't have worried!  Members of the Executive Committee (EC) have been generous in providing guidance and support, and more importantly being willing to give of their time so we can get things done.  So far the year has gotten off to an exciting start.  Our first event, a reception honoring Nancy Warner, M.D., (see newsletter pages 3 and 9), was very successful with a large turnout (for the first time ever the room was too small!) and recruitment of several new members.  I attended the fall new faculty reception arranged by the Dean's Office to make people aware of the existence of the MFWA and our role on campus.  Members of the EC are currently working on a revision of the Survival Manual for Faculty which I think will be a valuable addition for all faculty on the Health Sciences Campus.  The Research Fund awarded two grants this last cycle with plans to continue these awards twice a year.  We were able to send a student to the recent AMWA conference and continue our involvement in the Jump Start and Care-by-Sharing programs.  We are planning a spring event, hopefully with an outside speaker relating to gender equity issues in academia.  We have instituted a system whereby the abbreviated minutes of all EC meetings will be circulated to the membership in order to keep people informed of our activities.  We have a website that lists our officers and has updated information on activities, newsletters and also links to potentially relevant sites.

 

I would like to welcome all the new members who have joined our ranks this year and thank all the current members for their support and enthusiasm.  I look forward to the participation of the entire membership in ongoing projects and welcome suggestions for new projects.  If there are any projects you'd like to be involved in I encourage you to contact me or any of the members of EC.  I look forward to an exciting year in which our accomplishments truly make a difference.

 

Zea Borok, M.D.

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

 

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LETTER FROM CAROLEE WINSTEIN, PAST PRESIDENT

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

As we are well into the 1999-2000 academic year, this letter is certainly "after-the-fact", as my tenure as President of MFWA was during the 1998-1999 academic period. As I reflect on that year, on the heels of my half-year sabbatical leave, it seems to have come and gone in but a flash!  However, during that time we did initiate and continue several key programs that have formed the backbone of the MFWA. As part of our faculty mentoring program, we organized and sponsored the Dossier Preparation session generously conducted by Sandy Mosteller, former Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs. We owe a debt of gratitude to Sandy for her excellent leadership in this program over the years.  Not soon after the tragic death of one of our most distinguished members, Dr. Jeanine Chalabian (see May Newsletter No. 97, 1997), we sponsored an informal gathering with Dr. Astrid Heger to learn about her work in violence prevention. Dr. Heger's presentation was enlightening and informative.  Finally, and most recently, we have continued to pursue our concerns about salary equity, but with an expanded agenda organized around the status of women at the Health Sciences Campus (HSC).  Our pursuit of information (i.e., data) was fueled by the recently released and very public report: "A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT" that was published in March of  1999 (see page 10 and http://web.mit.edu/fnl/women/women.html).  We realized that what was needed was to communicate our concerns directly to the USC administration to both garner support and offer our assistance in gathering data.  As part of this ongoing dialog, we have had two important meetings with the administration.  The first took place in June of this year just before my term as President ended.  The executive committee met for two hours with Dr. Martin L. Levine, Vice Provost for Faculty and Minority Affairs.  The meeting was informal, informative and with a frank exchange of ideas.  He had several pieces of sage advice that have already influenced our strategy both as an organization and as grass-roots efforts to influence the status of women at HSC.  One of his suggestions was to make MFWA more visible.  To this end, I want to thank Dr. Nina Bradley (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy) who has nearly single-handedly developed the MFWA web page (http://www.usc.edu/hsc/mfwa/).  I suggest you visit this page soon and see what is happening.  The second meeting, occurring after my term as President ended, was held with Dr. Leslie Bernstein, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Keck School of Medicine.  Dr. Bernstein is working closely with us as we embark on the revision of our now outdated, fifth edition of the Survival Manual for new faculty.  During my term as President, I had an opportunity to work with some of the most talented and special women faculty from a wide range of departments and schools composing the Health Sciences Campus including the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, the Independent Health Professions (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Nursing, Occupational Science and Therapy), the Departments of Cell and Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Family Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Hematology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pathology.  I want to personally thank all those with whom I have worked for their efforts and support organizing the various activities and programs, including this Newsletter.  The colleagues and friends I have met through this association has made my academic life a fuller and richer experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Carolee J. Winstein, Ph.D.

Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

 

 

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AWARDS

 

NANCY WARNER SELECTED AS THE FIRST RECIPIENT OF THE MFWA

G. JUNE MARSHALL AWARD

 

     The MFWA recently established a new award, christened the Medical Faculty Women’s Association G. June Marshall Award,  to honor a faculty member who has provided exemplary leadership and service to the women of the USC Health Sciences Campus.  We are pleased to announce that the first recipient of this award is our friend and colleague, Nancy E. Warner, M.D.  A list of Nancy’s contributions would take volumes, but can perhaps be best summarized in the narrative following the photo. 

 

 

On September 18, 1981, Dr. Nancy E. Warner hosted the first meeting of a group of women faculty members in her home in Pasadena.  Known then as the USC Medical School Faculty Women, this group was called together by Dr. Warner and several of her colleagues who recognized the need for an organized effort to facilitate the professional development of women faculty at the USC School of Medicine.  This was not the first time that Nancy acted on her commitment to help women in their careers in academic medicine.  As the first woman chair of a department in a co-educational medical school in the United States, she already had a long history of mentoring and promoting qualified women.  In addition, during the early years of her career, when discrimination against women was the norm in medicine, she not only had the courage to challenge stereotypes, but also the wisdom to choose her battles wisely. 

 

Nancy has been known to say that sometimes, one must be satisfied to simply plant a seed; a tree does not grow overnight.  It needs years of nurturing before it can grow to maturity and bear fruit.  This metaphor can be applied not only to her pursuit of equity for women, but also to her style of mentoring.  Never coercive, Dr. Warner makes suggestions and provides information with a sensible dose of encouragement (an example of her mentoring style can be seen in her submission to this newsletter for the Mentor’s Corner, page 9).  She has taught us all the importance of timing, and the need for rational discussion that is fueled by passion.  It is with these characteristics that she has consistently pursued equity for women at all stages of her distinguished career.  Dr. Warner continues to be an inspiration to all of us in her “retirement”, which, for all intents and purposes, seems more like a renewal.  We are ever grateful for her enthusiasm, guidance and care.  (Submitted by Erin Quinn and Wendy Gilmore)

 

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JOAN HODGMAN, M.D. RECEIVES THE VIRGINIA APGAR AWARD IN PERINATAL PEDIATRICS

 

     We are pleased to announce that one of our MFWA members and past-presidents, Joan E. Hodgman, M.D., has received the prestigious Virginia Apgar Award in Perinatal Pediatrics.  The Virginia Apgar Award is given annually by the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics of the American Academy of Pediatrics to an individual whose career has had a continuing influence on the well-being of newborn infants.  The award was established in memory of Virginia Apgar for her extraordinary accomplishments in the field of perinatal medicine.  Dr. Hodgman’s own accomplishments were summarized by Mary Ellen Avery, M.D., in a ceremony held October 10, 1999 in Washington, D.C.  A brief synopsis of Dr. Avery’s comments are as follows:  ”Dr. Joan Hodgman has had an illustrious career as a clinician, an academician, a teacher, and a humanitarian for half a century.  During this time she has championed the care of both healthy and sick newborn infants with indefatigable energy, clinical acumen, intuition and a true pioneering spirit.  As a clinician, she has challenged the precepts of her teachers and peers and has not hesitated to test the validity of accepted theories and popular opinions with thoughtfully conceived and designed clinical trials.  Her first publication in 1959 established the role of chloramphenicol in the “gray baby” syndrome.  Her contributions to clinical neonatology are enormous as documented in 120 publications and on topics such as descriptions of congenital malformations, investigations into temperature regulation, sleep states, clinical trials of antibiotics, studies on hyperbilirubinemia and phototherapy.  Moreover, she is an enthusiastic investigator who participates in many pediatric research meetings as measured by an amazing 244 abstracts, and 39 chapters in books.  She continues to teach and conduct clinical research.”

 

     It is not difficult to see why Dr. Hodgman received this award, and we salute her accomplishments.  Dr. Hodgman has spent her entire career, for which the award was made, at LAC + USC Medical Center.  In addition to her participation in the MFWA as a member and past-President, Dr. Hodgman serves as a current member of the Board of Directors of the MFWA Research Fund.  (Submitted by Wendy Gilmore in consultation with Joan Hodgman).

 

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WYNNE WAUGAMAN ELECTED AS A FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NURSING

 

Wynne Waugaman, Ph.D., CRNA, FAAN has been elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a national academy and a great honor.  She was inducted in late November in a ceremony in Washington DC.  Dr. Waugaman is currently an Associate Professor of Nursing, Assistant Chair for Academic Affairs, and Director of the Nurse Anesthesia program at USC.  She is the author of the leading textbook in Nurse Anesthesia, and was recognized by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists for her efforts in bringing research as an expectation for the profession.  This brings to 5, the number of national academy members in the department.  (Submitted by Maryalice Jordan-Marsh)

 

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SHARON VALENTE RECOGNIZED AS DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA

 

Sharon Valente, Ph.D., ANP, FAAN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, has been named Distinguished Alumna for the decade of the 70's as UCLA School of Nursing celebrates its 50th year.  Dr. Valente is widely known for her contributions to the study of suicide.  She received the Schneiderman award from the American Association of Suicidology for the body of her work.  She was the first nurse to be so honored and only the second woman.  Dr. Valente is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.  (Submitted by Maryalice Jordan-Marsh).

 

 

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RESEARCH FUND NEWS

 

MFWA RESEARCH FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS ADDS NEW GOALS, NEW MEMBERS, AND AN ADVISORY BOARD

 

     The 1999-2000 Research Fund Board of Directors has developed a new objective of raising the amounts of the seed grants given each year.  They are also working with the USC Development Office on a new plan for donor solicitation for the coming year.

 

     Sona Boyd and Bernice M. Christenson have joined the Board.  Sona is a member of the Muses Board of the California Science Center, a former Board member and officer of the Committee of Professional Women for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and a former fashion and home fashion executive.  Bernice is active on the campus of the Keck School of Medicine as Past President of the USC University Hospital Guild and currently on the Boards of the Norris Auxiliary and USC’s Town and Gown.  She has retired as Director of Alumni and Public Relations of USC’s  School of Education.

 

     The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board are, respectively, Lee Hogan Cass and Sheri Mobley.  In addition to our new members, continuing members are:  Mary Kay Arbuthnot, Linda Chan, Ph.D., Florence Clark, Ph.D., Carmen Farmer, Bobbie Hirschberger (former chair), Joan Hodgman, M.D., Florence Hofman, Ph.D., and Dorothy McVann, M.D.

 

     The Advisory Board consists of Elaine Levanthal (Chair), Raquel Arias, M.D., Betty Ann Brooks, Bobbie Galpin, Erin A. Quinn, Ph.D., and Nancy E. Warner, M.D.  (Submitted by Lee Hogan Cass).

 

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THE 1999 MFWA RESEARCH FUND DONOR SOLICITATION BEGUN IN NOVEMER

 

     The annual donor solicitation letters for the MFWA Research Fund were mailed in mid-November.  The letters noted the increasingly important role of women in medical research.  They also highlighted some of the research that has been funded, along with the fact that these seed grants have led to successful funding by the National Institutes of Health and major private foundations.  The fact that the MFWA Research Fund can only support 30% of all proposals submitted was emphasized.

 

     Personal notes expressing appreciation for past donations were signed by Fund Board members, and enclosed with the solicitation letters.

 

     Fund contributions had already been received before the end of November.  Readers of this newsletter are encouraged to please make your own support known soon by returning your solicitation envelope with the letter.  (Submitted by Lee Hogan Cass).

 

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REPORT ON THE SPRING 1999 SYMPOSIUM ENTITLED: OSTEOPOROSIS:  ARE YOU AT RISK?  NOT JUST YOUR MOTHER’S PROBLEM

 

     In May of 1999, the USC MFWA Research Fund Board of Directors sponsored a half-day symposium on the causes, prevention, treatment and the potential progression of osteoporosis from early adulthood to the later years of life.  Held at the Davidson Conference Center on the University Park Campus, the symposium was co-sponsored by the USC Association of Trojan Leagues and was presented with the cooperation of Wyeth Ayerst.

 

     An enthusiastic and participatory audience heard a panel of experts from the USC Health Sciences Campus.

 

          Osteoporosis:  Are You at Risk?

          Edward J. McPherson, M.D.

          Associate Professor, Center for Joint

Replacement and Orthopedic Research

 

Nutritional Risk Factors in Osteoporosis

Robert Rude, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine

 

Menopause:  Osteoporosis & Hormone Replacement

Donna Shoupe, M.D.

Professor, Department of Obstetrics and

     Gynecology

 

Exercise on Bone:  Jumping and Lifting

Robert Wiswell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

 

     The symposium added $4000.00 to the 1999 MFWA Research Fund.  (Submitted by Lee Hogan Cass).

 

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RECIPIENTS OF THE MFWA RESEARCH FUND AWARDS

 

     The MFWA is pleased to announce the awards of two MFWA Research Fund grants of $3000 each this Fall, 1999.  Dr. Rajeswari Ravindranath, of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, will examine the mechanisms underlying genetic dental enamel deformities.  These studies will provide preliminary data for future funding.  Dr. Maria Rudis, Departments of Clinical Pharmacy and Emergency Medicine, will use her award to study the safety and cost-effectiveness of three different methods of loading phenytoin, a commonly used antiepileptic medication, in emergency department patients.  The results of these studies will have clinical and economic implications for treatment of epilepsy.  (Submitted by Florence Hofman)

 

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COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES AND REPORTS

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

 

     As most of you know, we have chosen to combine the Executive Committee (EC) and the Professional Development Committee (PDC) this year in an attempt to consolidate our efforts and focus our energy.  The EC has traditionally been composed of MFWA Officers and committee chairs and co-chairs and the members-at-large, who function as the decision-making body for the membership.  The PDC was originally established to do what its namesake implies:  promote professional development of women on the HSC.  Since a large percentage of the MFWA’s activities focus on professional development issues (gender equity, mentoring, administration of the MFWA Research Fund, child care issues, publication of the Survival Manual for New Faculty, etc.), the PDC has often been considered the “working committee” for the MFWA.  Combining these two important committees has provided a new “working” body for the MFWA that has so far been very effective.  EC/PDC meetings are generally held once a month, and are open to the membership.  Contact Maria Ramirez at 442-2554 or maramire@hsc.usc.edu for information on our next meeting, scheduled for January 19, 2000.  (Submitted by Wendy Gilmore)

 

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MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

 

During the last academic year, 1998-1999, MFWA membership totaled 73.  Our members are drawn from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and the Division of Independent Health Professions (Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy).  To increase our visibility and membership, we developed a WEB site, that is now linked from the “Faculty Information” pages for the Keck School of Medicine. Other Schools and/or departments are encouraged to include a link to our pages.  To reach our WEB pages directly, the URL is as follows:  http://www.usc.edu/hsc/mfwa/.  There you will find information on our history, the MFWA Research Fund, Upcoming Events, the MFWA Newsletters, identification of our current officers with direct email links, and an online membership application that can be printed, completed and sent to the Membership Chair by campus mail.  Watch the pages for updates and new additions.  In the future, we will implement a PDF version of the membership application to aide completion of the form, and a list of the members to aide the networking of HSC Women faculty.  (Submitted by Nina Bradley).

 

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STUDENT LIASON COMMITTEE

 

     The purpose of the Student Liason Committee is to encourage social interactions between women faculty and women students and to support student professional development.  Activities generally involve informal gatherings of medical and graduate students, and periodic special programs.  If you would like to be involved, please contact any of the Student Liason Committee Co-chairs:  Raquel Arias, M.D. (442-2554; rarias@hsc.usc.edu), Maggie Zeichner-David, Ph.D. (442-3167; zeichner@zygote.hsc.usc.edu), or Florence Hofman, Ph.D. (442-1153; hofman@hsc.usc.edu).  (Submitted by Wendy Gilmore).

 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Annual Christmas Bag Assembly Party December 20, Monday, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

To Benefit Homeless Women

Mayer Auditorium Lobby,

Keith Administration Building

 

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

Executive Committee/Professional Development Combined Meeting

January 19, Wed., 1-2:30 Location TBA

Contact Maria Ramirez for future meetings

(maramire@hsc.usc.edu; 442-2554)

 

AAMC PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR FOR JUNIOR FACULTY WOMEN

April 1-4, 2000

Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel,

Reston, Virginia

TARGET AUDIENCE: This seminar is for women early in their first appointment who are aiming for a position of leadership in academic medicine (associate professors are not eligible).  It is targeted primarily at physicians, but is also pertinent for Ph.D. scientists.  Even though far more apply, the number of participants is limited to 120 to keep workshops small.

Each applicant should submit a supporting letter from her dean, section or departmental head describing how her goals for attending the seminar relate to her work and professional aspirations.

OBJECTIVES: To assist each participant in creating an agenda for working toward her professional development goals.

To provide participants with insights into the realities of building a career in academic medicine, into key ways in which academic medicine is changing, and into leadership qualities demanded by these realities and changes.

To help participants expand their network of colleagues and role models and to bring new energy to their networking.

To assist participants in identifying the skill areas on which most need to work and give them a start in developing them.

EXPENSES AND FEES:  The registration fee of $700.00 covers three continental breakfasts, two receptions, one lunch, one dinner, coffee breaks, meeting materials and supplies.  The Optional Pre-Conference Conflict Management Workshop will require separate registration and payment of an additional $80.00 fee.  You will be responsible for your airline, ground transportation and hotel expenses.  Daily room rates at the Hyatt Reston are $164.00 single or double occupancy, plus tax.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY PROGRAM AND APPLICATION PROCEDURES, PLEASE CONTACT MARIA RAMIREZ IN THE OFFICE FOR WOMEN AT (323) 442-2554.

 

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WOMEN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR MEMORY AND COGNITION STUDY

 

     Victor Henderson, M.D. (Department of Neurology) and Barbara Cherry, Ph.D. (Department of Occupational Science) are seeking volunteers to participate in a short-term study to examine the effects of estrogen therapy on specific aspects of learning and memory, as these may relate to normla aging or to Alzheimer’s disease.  Participants will undergo brief medical and gynecological screening exams at the start of the study.  Qualifying participants will then be placed on oral estrogen or placebo for 30 days.  At the end of this 30 day period, participants will be assessed on several aspects of memory/information processing/cognition.  All together, individual participation will last about 60-90 days, including screening exams and subsequent cognitive tests.  All procedures are without charge to study participants. 

 

     Potential participants are normal healthy women ranging in age from 50 to 84 years who have gone through menopause, or healthy women of the same age with a diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  Participants should not have used estrogen within the three months preceding study enrollment and should be fluent speakers of English.

 

     To volunteer for this important study or for more information, please call Dr. Barbara Cherry at 323-442-2810 or Angie Lopez at 442-5983.  Thank you.  (Submitted by Victor Henderson and Barbara Cherry).

 

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HEPATITIS RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

     The Hepatitis Research Center at USC, under the direction of Karen L. Lindsay, M.D., is one of nine clinical centers awarded an eight year contract from the NIDDK (National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) to study long term maintenance therapy in approximately 1100 chronic hepatitis C non responder patients.  Screening is expected to begin in May of 2000.  Dr. Lindsay is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and a long-standing MFWA member.

 

     The Hepatitis Research Center is also involved in a number of other treatment trials for viral hepatitis:

 

¨      NON RESPONDER STUDY:  This is a 28 week study for patients with chronic hepatitis C who failed to respond to previous combination therapy (interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin) using a cytokine versus placebo.  Screening is expected to start in December 1999.

¨      PEDIATRIC HCV:  Ongoing treatment studies for pediatric hepatitis C patients using combination therapy (interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin).

¨      HIV/HCV CO-INFECTION:  Ongoing treatment studies for HIV/HCV con-infected patients using combination therapy (interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin).

¨      HEPATITIS B STUDY:  This is a 25 month study for patients with chronic hepatitis B using a nucleotide analog versus placebo.  Screening is expected to start in December 1999.

 

     Further information can be obtained by calling 323-442-5550.  (Submitted by Karen Lindsay).

 

 

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR MOTHERS’ CLUB

 

The Mothers' Club Community Center is a non-profit organization that has been located in Pasadena on East Orange Grove for 40 years and last year opened a second site in Altadena in a low income apartment complex.  Mothers' Club is a place where women with small children may come to put an end to isolation and despair.  Here they have a chance to learn critical survival and parenting skills.  As their confidence grows they have opportunities to further their education through counseling, ESL and GED classes and skill building workshops.  While mothers are developing opportunities for a new life, their children find spacious play areas, bright school  rooms and new friends in classes for early childhood development.  Mothers and their children (newborn through pre-school) may come to Mothers' Club Monday through Friday from 9 am to 12 noon.  In Altadena, Mothers’ club collaborators such as Hillsides Family Centers and the YWCA, carry out afternoon tutoring programs, field trips and enrichment activities for siblings and parents of the children participating in morning Mothers' Club activities. 

 

Mothers’ Club has a variety of opportunities for volunteers, including 1) tutoring elementary and high school students from 3 to 5 pm, 2) assessing children’s developmental stages from 9 am to 12 noon, 3) assisting mothers in GED classes and tutoring them in math and science from 9 am to 12 noon and 4) providing exercise classes for Moms in the afternoon.  These are just a few of the ways in which volunteers, giving time one day a month or one day a week, can help support mothers and their children which strengthens families and thereby the community at large.

 

For further information contact:

Natalie Magistrale, 626-799-2287 or

Sue Kujawa at Mothers' Club, 626 792 2687

(submitted by Natalie Alexander)

 

 

 

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SPECIAL FEATURES

 

REPORT ON THE RECEPTION TO WELCOME NEW FACULTY

 

On November 10, 1999 the MFWA sponsored a “New Faculty Reception”.  More than 40 were in attendance.  This very successful gathering was a forum for meeting old friends and colleagues, and greeting new women faculty on our campus.  New faculty, were encouraged to join the MFWA.  Nancy Warner, M.D. made a short presentation on the topic of “Negotiation Skills” which was very well received.  Dr. Warner was the recipient of the G. June Marshall Award.  There is additional information about Dr. Warner, and the background of the new G. June Marshall Award on page 3.  Other awards were presented to past-president Carolee Winstein, Ph.D., for her contribution to the growth and maturity of the MFWA.  Carolee served as MFWA president during the 1998-1999 year.  Maggie Zeichner-David, Ph.D. (MFWA President, 1997-1998) was also awarded a plaque which acknowledged her leadership, creativity and vision.  (Submitted by Kornelia Kulig).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MENTOR’S CORNER

NEGOTIATING A RAISE:

SOME POINTS TO REMEMBER

 

     Before you meet with your chair to ask for a raise, take some time to document your activities since your last salary increase.  Your profile of activities is a good place to start.  Review your obligations (teaching, research and service, in whatever combination) and prepare to document and discuss how you have excelled in meeting them.  For teaching activities, list how many hours you have taught medical students, graduate students, residents and postgraduates (whatever applies).  Record course numbers wherever possible.  Remember to include teaching rounds and conferences, and postgraduate courses.  Any new courses initiated?  Give titles, course numbers, and a description.  List your new and ongoing grants (title, PI, dates, agency, grant ID number, amount of award), and any grant applications under review.  List appointments to NIH or other study sections (permanent or ad hoc) and site visits.  Don’t forget appointments to editorial boards, other national advisory boards, and any prizes you have won for excellence in academic pursuits.  Have you taken on any new service responsibilities?  Be sure to list and explain them.  Mention and describe service on medical school or university committees and panels.  What have you published since your last raise?  List your new articles in peer reviewed journals (title, authors,  journal, inclusive pagination), manuscripts under review (title, authors, journal), and other publications (abstracts, editorials, letters to editors, chapters, books).  Last but not least, have you had another offer from another institution?  Where and how much?

 

     Armed with this information, you will be well prepared to deal effectively and realistically with your chair in discussing your salary increase.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a raise!  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  If you are nervous about asking (and almost everybody is), consider a practice session with a trustworthy colleague. 

 

How much should you ask for?  Salaries are classified information at USC, though some public-spirited citizens are willing to divulge their salaries.  The Association of American Medical Colleges publishes national salary scales that are accessible to individual members, and are useful for purposes of comparison.  You can access the AAMC website for information on how to obtain salary information (www.aamc.org).  The American Association of University Professors also publishes salary scales of university faculties (you can contact them at www.aaup.org).

 

Unfortunately, gender inequity in salaries affects all areas of employment, and academia is no exception.  Laws already on the books make it illegal to pay women less than men in the same job.  For example, see the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title IX, P.L. 92-318 (1972) as amended by P.L. 93-569 (1974), P.L. 94-482 (1976) and P.L. 100-249 (1988, Civil Rights Restoration Act).  However, these laws have been ignored or inadequately enforced.  At present, equal pay is law, but not reality.  Inch by inch, the inequities are being addressed, but the rate is painfully slow.  (Submitted by Nancy Warner).

 

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EQUITY ISSUES FORUM:  THE MIT STUDY

 

It’s been gratifying to see the flurry of interest in gender equity issues since the March 1999 release of a report on the status of women faculty in science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Articles have appeared in numerous 1999 issues of Science (vol. 283:1992; 284:727, 286:1272-1278) and The Chronicle of Higher Education (December 3, 1999).  The MIT report, entitled “A Study of the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT” acknowledges discrimination against women faculty in the School of Science, and commends them for their courage in initiating the process of evaluation that ultimately led to the report.  Briefly, it acknowledges differences between male and female faculty in salary, access to space, resources and inclusion in positions of power and administrative responsibility within individual departments and in the MIT community as a whole.  The report also indicates that there was no evidence that the discrimination was conscious or deliberate.  Instead, it was the result of a pattern of powerful, but unrecognized assumptions and attitudes that work systematically against women faculty even in the light of obvious goodwill.

 

The admission of discriminatory practices by a highly respected institution, coupled with an explanation for their existence, have paved the way for other institutions to follow in MIT’s footsteps.  In an article appearing in the December 3 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, the President of the University of Arizona was quoted to say that “. . Because MIT is an institution of such unquestionable intellectual and academic distinction, I could, in advocating a study of this kind, avoid the allegation that issues of academic excellence were being set aside in order to deal with social equity.”  Indeed, our sister institutions, Cal Tech and UCLA, as well as the University of Arizona, Harvard Medical School and Case Western University all have plans to implement, or are currently conducting equity studies.  It would be of interest to see USC follow suit.

 

What are the assumptions and attitudes that work against women in academia? Just like the broader issue of gender relations in society, the answer to this question is not simple (perhaps this can be a topic for a future Equity Issue Forum in this newsletter).  It’s encouraging that MIT was willing to set aside assumptions and attitudes in favor of the tools of scientific inquiry.  In so doing, they provide a model for challenging the power of social issues to influence our scientific judgment.  The pdf version of the report is at  http://web.mit.edu/fnl/women/women/pdf.  (Submitted by Wendy Gilmore and Kornelia Kulig)

 

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THE MFWA STUDENT FUND

 

     The MFWA has been soliciting donations for a student fund, to be used to support the professional development of graduate or medical students on the HSC.  In the past, the fund has helped several women medical students defray costs of attending the American Medical Women’s Association annual conference, and supported a program for graduate students featuring Peter J. Feibelman, Ph.D., author of the book, “A Ph.D. Is Not Enough!”.  Contact Wendy Gilmore at 323-442-1054 or wgilmore@hsc.usc.edu for further information.

 

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THE JUMP START PROGRAM

 

     A number of families served by the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC + USC) High Risk Infant Follow-up Project have been assisted by the Jump Start Program (see flier with this newsletter).  Our Project provides early intervention services to families with medically fragile, premature infants.  The majority of the families served live well below the federal poverty lever.  Most make only enough money to pay for basic living expenses and have no money left for savings at the end of each month.  Therefore, when a family is faced with an unexpected move, the costs of one month’s rent plus a security deposit is nearly impossible to achieve.  This is the story of one family who was assisted by the Jump Start Program in October of 1998.

 

     This family had resided in a small home in East Los Angeles since 1988.  The father had a stable job working for a roofing company and the mother cared for their 12-month old infant.  In early October, the landlord informed the family that the property had been sold and they had 30 days to move out.  This did not leave the family much time to save for the move-in costs.  The family found a home close to where they were living before and moved in with Jump Start’s assistance.  They lived at this residence for approximately 11 months.  During this time the company where the father worked had an increase in business which enabled the family to save money.  They are now buying a home in Ontario with another family member.  The family will spend the holidays in their new home.

 

     The LAC + USC High Risk Infant Follow-up Project would like to thank all those who support the Jump Start Program and wish you a very joyous holiday season!  (Submitted by Karen Finello).

 

 

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MFWA Officers

1999-2000

 

President

     Zea Borok, M.D.

(442-3329; zborok@hsc.usc.edu)

 

President-Elect

     Julena Lind, Ph.D., R.N.

          (442-1308; julenal@hsc.usc.edu)

 

Secretary

     Maria Ramirez (Office for Women)                 (442-2554; maramire@hsc.usc.edu)

 

Treasurer

     Wendy Gilmore, Ph.D.

          (442-1054; wgilmore@hsc.usc.edu)

     Carolee Winstein, Ph.D., P.T.

          (442-2903; winstein@hsc.usc.edu)

 

Program Committee

     Erin Quinn, Ph.D.

          (442-3063; erinquin@hsc.usc.edu)

     Janice Liebler, M.D.

          (442-2290; liebler@hsc.usc.edu)

 

Membership Committee

     Nina Bradley, Ph.D., P.T.

          (442-2910; nbradley@hsc.usc.edu)

 

Newsletter Committee

     Wendy Gilmore, Ph.D.

          (442-1054; wgilmore@hsc.usc.edu)

     Kornelia Kulig, Ph.D., P.T.

          (442-2911; kulig@hsc.usc.edu)

 

Student Liason Committee

     Raquel Arias, M.D.

          (442-2554; rarias@hsc.usc.edu)

     Maggie Zeichner-David, Ph.D.

(442-3167; zeichner@zygote.hsc.usc.edu

Florence Hofman, Ph.D.

     (442-1153; hofman@hsc.usc.edu)

 

By-Laws Committe1e

     Susan Groshen, Ph.D.

(865-0375; groshen_s@froggy.hsc.usc.edu)

Ruth Peters, Ph.D.

     (865-0435; rpeters@hsc.usc.edu

 

Member-at-Large

     Florence Hofman, Ph.D.

          (442-1153; hofman@hsc.usc.edu)

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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

 

     In order for the MFWA to remain an effective forum for the professional development of women on the HSC, your participation is needed!  If you know of anyone (including yourself) who would be interested in participating in any of the committees or activities highlighted in this newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact any of the individuals listed as officers.  We welcome any and all points-of-view!

 

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RESOURCES

 

     The following is a list of websites and other resources that might be of interest to our membership and associates:

v     4000 Years of Women in Science:  a website that posts names and biographies of women scientists throughout the ages, as well as miscellaneous facts.  (www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/4000WS.html)

v     The American Association of Medical Colleges website (www.aamc.org) has a very informative section on women in medicine.  Once you’ve accessed the site, click on “About the AAMC”, scroll down to “Programs and Special Interest Areas” and click on “Women in Medicine”.  You will find everything from status surveys to “web mentoring” and book reviews.

v     The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) maintains a section on women under the heading “Women in Higher Education”.  This site also publishes information on the status of women in academia, including an issues survey to use in conducting a “gender equity audit”.  The web address is www.aaup.org.

v     The American Association of University Women is dedicated to the achievement of equity and full participation of women in all areas of science and technology.  The web address is: www.awis.org.

v     Two additional websites that may be of interest include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.eeoc.gov/) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://stats.bls.gov/blshome.html).

v     You might be interested in the following book, entitiled Women of Science:  Righting the Record, edited by G. Kass-Simon and Patricia Farnes.  Published in 1990 by the Indiana University Press, the book documents contributions of women scientists to geology, astronomy, mathematics, engineering, physics, biology, medical science, chemistry and crystallography.

(Submitted by WGilmore)

 

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO MARIA RAMIREZ

 

      We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Maria Ramirez for her continued support in our efforts to help women on the Health Sciences Campus succeed.  Maria handles all of our mailings, event bookings, copying, meeting minutes, accounts (including the Research Fund grant accounts) and lends a hand in so much more!  Thank you, Maria!

 

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THANKS TO THE EDMONDSON FACULTY CENTER

 

     Special thanks are due to the Edmondson Faculty Center, especially Wendy Quinn, for managing our events with good cheer.  The Faculty Center also donates the bags that are subsequently decorated and filled with toiletries for donation to for women at the Los Angeles Mission during the Holiday season. 

 

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ROLDAN FLORES

 

     We would like to thank Roldan Flores, Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, for taking photographs at the New Faculty Reception.